ActivePatch is a software development kit that enables developers to create their own update in the form of a patch, and integrate the patch application process directly into their own software. It can be used to create a patch of a single file or an update for a complete product, modifying existing files, removing unneeded files, and creating new files that have been added.
Using ActivePatch has a number of important advantages over the common methods of software re-packaging or incremental updates:
Reduces the size of an update. ActivePatch analyzes the original and updated file at the byte level, generating the smallest size patch file required to perform the update.
Faster update creation and distribution. Unlike re-packaging or creating incremental updates, generating a patch does not require the developer to create another program or modify an existing script (such as an InstallShield installation script) for each update that is released.
Improved technical support and customer satisfaction. With the ability to easily generate patches for updated software, there is no reason to keep customers waiting for the next version.
Lowered media and distribution costs. The ability to distribute a small patch, rather than re-packaging the complete product, can significantly reduce the costs associated with creating and shipping media.
Complete integration with the application. The ActivePatch SDK allows the developer to fully integrate the patching process within the application.
Safety and security. The patching process is designed to be completely safe, committing the update only if no problems are encountered during the process. Because a patch consists only of the changes to a file, it requires that the user actually have the software installed on their system, and can help protect against illegal distributions of updates for your software.